Five bold, crazy, stupid, daring, wacky predictions about where all the free agent and top NFL quarterback prospects will end up playing.
5 (Potentially) Stupid NFL Draft, Free Agent Quarterback Predictions
Considering college football just lost a boatload of all-time great quarterbacking talent from the 2019 season, and with a bigger boatload of all-time great NFL quarterbacks shopping around the free agent market, this is by far the most interesting off-season ever for the position at both levels.
For 2021, who’s going to be in a position to take Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields? Is there another Joe Burrow or Daniel Jones who’ll rise up from relative obscurity to become a franchise pick? That’s for another day, but that’s all a factor here considering the last two No. 1 overall picks – Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray – won the Heisman, and Burrow is almost a mortal lock to make it three in a row.
But here’s the problem with all of this for all of the NFL types – there are only 32 starting jobs.
It’s not like being a free agent wide receiver or linebacker, or a top college running back or defensive prospect, who can be taken by anyone and find playing time right away. At the highest level, a quarterback has to be the right fit for one of those few precious jobs, and just being a big-time talent isn’t always enough.
Just ask Josh Rosen.
The idea of drafting a Justin Herbert or bringing on a Phil Rivers might sound interesting, but there aren’t a lot of openings.
So with all of that in mind, here are five (potentially) stupid predictions on how this strange marriage of NFL Draft and the free agent period is all going to work out, starting with …
5. The old guy free agents
Of course it sounds amazing to somehow land Tom Brady, Drew Brees, or Phil Rivers as your starting quarterback or the next year or three, but think about what’s involved here.
The dream is to get the Denver version of Peyton Manning. Maybe you get a rejuvenated legend looking for a last big run, and maybe he turns out to be that one missing piece.
But do that, and you’re mortgaging the future.
Pick up one of these legends, and 1) you’re starting at $30 million a year just got the ball rolling, and 2) you’re not developing that 22-year-old guy who might just be the next Lamar, or Deshaun, or Patrick.
So where’s the fit for any of the big three – Brady, Brees and Rivers?
None of them are going to even sniff Cincinnati, and the crazy part about this is that two of the teams that are that one legendary quarterback away from being in contention for the Super Bowl – if both Brady and Brees leave – are New England and New Orleans.
So with that in mind …
Tom Brady goes back to New England
The Las Vegas Raiders will put together a package, and Tennessee will make the “one piece away” pitch, but the egos will simmer down after Robert Kraft makes absolutely sure that TB12 finishes out his career as a Patriot.
Drew Brees goes back to New Orleans
He’s not going to go out with a whimper, and he’s not going to play his last year with some random team. Teddy Bridgewater will move on, the franchise will commit to a transition year to get Taysom Hill ready for 2021, and Brees will have his one last ride tour with a team good enough to win the Super Bowl.
Phil Rivers signs with Tampa Bay
Now that Rivers and his massive family are living in Florida, do a coin flip on which of the three teams makes the most sense. Jacksonville isn’t a bad option, Miami is still too far away, and Tampa Bay still has Jameis Winston.
Arms with eyesight after undergoing LASIK surgery, Winston will move on, Rivers will step into a brilliant situation with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to work with, and the Buc offense will be every bit as explosive.